Monday, 20 October 2014

Ingredients 101: Kojic Acid

Natural or Synthetic: Natural

Origin: Kojic acid is a substance found in several species of fungi, such as mushrooms and rice malting.

Location: Everywhere, however kojic acid was first discovered in mushrooms in Japan in 1989.

Beauty Benefits: Kojic Acid is most famous for its skin-whitening properties. It does this by inhibiting the production of melanin (the brown pigment in our top layer of skin that gives skin its colour). As a result, when used correctly, kojic acid can reduce the appearance of sun freckles, melasma or other pigmentation.

Kojic Acid is also used in skincare for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties. Some dermatologists even prescribe kojic cream for treating acne.

Warnings: Kojic acid is considered safe to use topically, however if you are pregnant or breast feeding, please consult your doctor before using it.

Found in: SkinCeuticals PHYTO + 30ml (£65.00 / $80.00 This gel serum is designed to treat hyperpigmentation, combining four active ingredients to diminish discoloration and improve the overall health of the skin. It brightens, de-puffs and deeply hydrates the skin - we're talking super serum status.
SkinCeuticals PHYTO PLUS

Sunday, 19 October 2014

The Beauty Myth: You Don’t Need To Use A SPF In The Winter

The Verdict: False

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You always need a good SPF! Although the winter months are often cold and dark, UV rays are always hanging around and, be warned, your skin will  absorb them. UV rays are as harmful in the winter months as they are in the summer months. You are not even safe when it’s cloudy, as UV rays can penetrate cloud cover. If that isn't shocking enough, UV rays can be even more harmful in snowy conditions as snow is a great reflector of light!

So make sure you have a SPF to hand at all times because UVA and UVB exposure can lead to skin damage, premature ageing and, in some cases, skin cancer. Look for a SPF that protects skin from UVA and UVB rays, I recommend the Clinique Superdefense Daily Defense Moisturizer SPF20 50ml (£39.00 / $40.00 Sephora).

Friday, 17 October 2014

A Conversation With...Charlotte Tilbury

There is not a beauty fan around that hasn't heard of Charlotte Tilbury. If there is, I expect them to hand in their title immediately.

Charlotte Tilbury is a world renowned makeup artist who is queen of the smoky eye and owner of the hottest new beauty brand in town, Charlotte Tilbury. She has beautified the likes of Kate Moss, Rihanna, Penelope Cruz and Jennifer Lopez and has worked with Vogue, Vanity Fair and V to name but a few. If that wasn't enough, Charlotte Tilbury has also worked on high-profile fashion shows such as Tom Ford, Donna Karan, Missoni and Michael Kors.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd get the opportunity to interview Queen Tilbury but I did! So sit back, relax, and enjoy our little chat...

Charlotte Tilbury Interview

What inspired you to become a makeup artists? And how did your career journey begin?

My father is an artist so I have always been surrounded by creative people. I knew I would be doing something creative but it wasn't until I met the fabulous Mary Greenwell that I realised it could be a career. She really inspired me to want to learn the art of make-up and after attending the Glauca Rossi School of Make Up I went on to assist Mary on shows and shoots and that’s where my career really began.

What is your career highlight?

I have had so many it’s so hard to choose. However the launch of my brand in Selfridges was so incredible. I felt that all I had worked for had finally paid off and I was finally living my dream of bringing the transformative power of beauty to women everywhere.

Who is the ultimate beauty icon?

I'm so inspired by the icons of the silver screen but for me the most iconic has to be Brigitte Bardot! Her luscious lips, straight out of bed Rock ‘n’ Roll liner and her tousled beehive hair are so sexy, iconic and inspiring.

What are your beauty kit essentials?

My magic cream, mascara, eyeliner, eye-lash curlers, Vaseline, lip liner and nude lipstick.

What is the biggest beauty crime a person can commit?

Over plucking eyebrows and using the wrong colour foundation.

What is your top beauty tip?

Cotton buds are a girl’s best friend!

Thursday, 16 October 2014


The most common skincare questions I get asked usually involve acne. What causes acne? More do I get rid of it?

The Definition

Put simply, acne is a common skin condition (or if you want to be dramatic, disease) that is characterised by blackheads, whiteheads and pustules (aka our worst nightmares)

The Cause

What causes acne is the overproduction of sebum (oil) in the skin’s sebaceous gland. When an excessive amount of sebum is produced, it travels up the hair shaft and out through the pores. This, of course, then blocks the pores causing whiteheads and blackheads to appear. To make things worse, when pores are blocked, the (normally harmless) bacteria that lives in the skin joins the party and infects these blocked pores, leading to pus-filled papules or cysts (ewwww!).

So what causes the overproduction of sebum I hear you ask?? Well that can be a variety of things, including:

  • Hormonal imbalance 
  • Puberty 
  • Menstrual Cycle 
  • Pregnancy 
  • Stress 
  • Medications that effect hormonal levels 

Contrary to popular belief, there is actually no evidence to suggest that poor hygiene or diet causes acne.

The Solution

Unfortunately there is no miracle product or skincare ritual in existence that will guarantee we'll never suffer with acne again. However there are some useful things we can do to avoid encouraging it, such as:

  • Completely removing our make up before going to bed 
  • Making sure we’re getting enough sleep 
  • Being aware of what comes into contact with our face. Telephones, bag straps, our hair and even our hands carry harmful bacteria 
  • Avoiding the use of irritants such as oily or greasy makeup, sunscreens and hair products that can make our acne worse 
  • Not excessively washing our face as this can cause serious irritation to the skin 
  • Using skincare products that contain benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid and resorcinol 

For those of you who suffer with severe acne, I would advise you pay a visit to your doctor. There are a variety of prescription medications that can be used to treat acne such as topical treatments (gels, creams and lotions), antibiotic tablets and hormone therapies.

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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Wednesday Wisdom: Pearl Bailey

“The first and worst of all frauds is to cheat one's self. All sin is easy after that”

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